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Subject: Silk
  • Evening Dress, 1958

    A couture piece by Henri Bendel made for Mrs. Edmond DeVine (Elizabeth Palmer Ward DeVine) of Ann Arbor, MI. Mrs. DeVine's portrait was painted wearing this dress, and the painting stills hangs in the family home. This lovely dress has seen a fair amount of wear-- it was surely a special gown worn for special occasions. Elizabeth Palmer Ward DeVine was born in to one of Michigan's oldest mining families.Her great great grandfather, Charles Henry Palmer, was a pioneer investor and developer of mi…

  • Dress, 1924

    The dress was designed by Callot Soeurs. Callot Soeurs was one of the leading fashion houses in Paris during the 1920s. They catered to an exclusive clientele from across Europe and the United States. The house opened in 1895 at 24, rue Taitbout in Paris, France and was operated by the four Callot sisters: Marie Callot Gerber, Marthe Callot Bertrand, Regina Callot Tennyson-Chantrell and Joséphine Callot Crimont. They were known for their exotic and lavish detail; feminine, delicate fabrics and …

  • Dress, about 1860

    While this appears to be a day dress at first glance, it was more likely used around the house in the morning as it opens entirely from waist to hem at center front. It may have had boning in the bodice, however the bodice has been altered so it is difficult to determine.Worn by Betsy Ann Cowles Palmer around 1860. Betsy Ann Cowles Palmer was born in 1822. In 1839, she married Charles Henry Palmer, a pioneer investor and developer of mines and railroads in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Palmer'…

  • Dress, about 1918

    This dress was worn by Virginia Palmer Bradfield Ward. It is of a similar style and by the same designer -Lucile- as her wedding dress, and may have been a part of her trousseau. Virginia Palmer Bradfield Ward was born 1897 in Grand Rapids, MI. She was born in to one of Michigan's oldest mining families.Her great grandfather, Charles Henry Palmer, was a pioneer investor and developer of mines and railroads in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Her grandfather, Charles Henry Palmer, Jr. continued to run…

  • Bonnet, about 1840

    The quilting of this bonnet tells us that it was likely worn seasonally in the fall and winter.

  • Vest, 1850-1880

  • Fedora, 1920-1940

    According to our records, the hat belonged to Henry Ford.Born in 1863 on a farm in what is now Dearborn, Michigan, Henry Ford parlayed a youthful aptitude for engineering into a career as an automotive innovator and founder/president of Ford Motor Company. Among his ideas were the introduction of the first moving automobile assembly line, affordable pricing, fair wages for employees, and the vertical integration of manufacturing processes from raw materials to the finished product. His many phil…

  • Dress, about 1850

  • Bonnet, about 1850

  • Drawn Bonnet, 1840-1849

    This is an excellent example of an 1840's drawn bonnet, which was likely worn for formal afternoon events.

  • Women's Shoes, 1820-1850

    Delicate slippers such as these were used by ladies in the early Victorian period with fashionable dress. These tied on to the ankle, much as some ballet shoes do today. These types of shoes were notoriously unhealthy-- they quickly became damp and soiled, provided no foot support, and were occasionally purchased a size or two too small so that thewearer's foot appeared dainty. It was all about looking great; women were not expected to be comfortable or accommodated by their dress. The square to…

  • Women's Slippers, about 1840

    These shoes, sometimes called slippers, were used in the Victorian period for wear with a matching dress. Shoes like these were often laced on to the lower leg, sometimes elastic held them on. They wore poorly and quickly became damp and soiled.

  • Dress, 1850-1855

    An interesting, inexpensive fabric. The sleeve is a little modified from its work dress origins. This was probably the best dress of a lower middle class woman.

  • Trousers, about 1810-1820

  • Dress, 1855-1865

    This dress appears to have been remade in order to incorporate late 1860s fashion. The sleeves suggest the 1860s; the skirt appears to have been remade, and pleated instead of gauged. The dress is pieced to make up the yardage, but in a very deliberate mirror image on each side to make it less noticeable.

  • Dress, 1845-1847

    The simple bodice indicates that this dress was worn with a lace bertha and sleeve ruffles. The bust improvers, bodice construction and skirt are typical of the period. The dress was possibly remade from an earlier 1830s silk.

  • Hat, about 1915

    This light weight hat was likely worn seasonally in the spring and summer. It has two labels, one sewn over the other. They likely represent the manufacturer or designer and retailer of the hat, but it is unclear which is which.

  • Capote Bonnet, 1820-1830

    A capote- literally, French for hood-began to be worn in 1790s.It is characterized by a stiffened fabric brim framing the face, a soft gathered or pouch-line crown, and ribbon ties extending from the crown.The American prairie sunbonnet is a descendant of the capote.

  • Bonnet, 1848-1857

    During the 1850s, popular women's hairstyles were exaggerated at the front, puffed out at the sides, with hair pulled back low on the neck; and hat shapes changed to accommodate this. This is an example of such a hat. It is smaller and the crown does not extend as far out as hats popular in the previous decade. It does however, have a bavolet- the flap of fabric at the base of the crown which covers the nape of the neck- which also began to disappear around this time.

  • Frock Coat, about 1830-1850

    Plain yet attractive frock coat, probably used for some special occassion in a rural community.